Improving Health & Safety in the Australian Mining Industry

Subject: Risk Management
Pages: 2
Words: 515
Reading time:
2 min

Risk management within the mining industry calls for the participation of all stakeholders. Stakeholders, in this case, include employers, employees, government, and policymakers. While some measures require the collective engagement of the stakeholders, some are specific to individual stakeholders. First and most, there is a need for all stakeholders to take a unified approach to the development and implementation of safety programs. The government and policy-drafters need to come up with feasible and practicable guidelines.

Additionally, the government should provide legally conducive environments that will facilitate an effective process of risk management. Government should also provide unambiguous guidelines in its approach to mine safety issues within Australia. Additionally, the government should put in place efforts aimed at effort duplication removal and hence reduce compliance and administrative costs both within the industry and at government levels. Additionally, regulatory authority through the government should provide environments that foster innovation and improvement in risk management initiatives.

Employers, too, have an obligation in the management of risk. Employers are the authority in mining operations. Employers need to provide an environment that encourages the participation of the other stakeholders in measures that enhance safety within the industry. Additionally, employers need to put more focus on the continuous improvement process beyond the legally binding obligations. Employers should also recognize the importance of safety within mines and remain accountable for all risk events within the mines. Risk managers can only perform their functions effectively if they receive adequate support from the management.

Employees, too, have a responsibility in ensuring that safety in mines is kept at maximum levels. Employees engage in day to operation of the mines and have a better understanding of the areas that pose risks to the mine workers and operations. They should therefore recommend the same to the management. Employees need to realize that they have a responsibility of ensuring that the work environment is safe and conducive. Self-responsibility is a necessity for employees. Employees are often the vulnerable human resource.

They need to follow the stipulated guidelines, engage in the continuous learning process of risk management and most importantly, ensure that their work environment is kept safe. Active participation of employees in risk management is a prerequisite to a successful risk management initiative. While the management oversees risk management initiatives, the employees are the real players. They implement the initiatives. Employees must, therefore, fully involve themselves in the risk management process and additionally commit themselves to continuous improvement of the process.

In general, the participation of all stakeholders at appropriate levels of risk management is fundamental. The government/policymakers must ensure policies and guidelines developed are realistic and flexible within reason. The employers have a responsibility of not only availing resources but also providing environments that facilitate risk-limiting practices within the mines. The employees, on the other hand, need to be self-responsible and commit to activities that make their workplace better and safe from risks. If all these stakeholders effectively play their roles, then risk events can be kept at a minimum.